Will Smith’s ‘Foo VR’
Why would you just read about a game if you could go inside of the game with the developers who created it?
That is precisely what The Foo Show is going to do. It’s a virtual reality show that’s able to be seen as a proof of content with Steam VR and Oculus Home. Once you open it with your Oculus Rift or HTC Vive headset you will be inside of a virtual talk show studio featuring Jake Rodkin and Sean Vanaman who are the developers of the popular game, Firewatch. They have a quick talk with the host, Will Smith, then the three of them give you the invite to teleport with them into Wyoming within a fire lookout tower.
Once you’re in there, you see a large funny looking version of Will Smith talking with low poly renderings of Rodkin and Vanaman as they walk around the virtual space.
They lift up several objects throughout the room while they discuss how they created them in 3D. You’re able to pick up the virtual items too and view them from every angle. So essentially, you’re able to chill with the video game creators while inside of a video game.
Foo VR is Will Smith’s startup and The Foo Show is the first test. If things work out, Foo wants to create a variety of interactive storytelling, showing what’s able to be done when you’re inside of a story.
Smith talked about virtual reality for Tested which is a friend site of Mythbusters. And when he watched a demo of the Oculus Touch motion controllers, he became really interested in joining virtual reality. He said, “Oculus Touch was the first time that I was in a shared space with another person. The merest representation of a person, wireframe head, wireframe hands… was enough that in 30 seconds to a minute, my brain was like, that’s a person. It’s the opposite of the uncanny valley. I should probably make a catchy name and call it the ‘canny valley,’ or something. That’s terrible.”
Smith also wrote about his thoughts on virtual reality and non-virtual reality in an essay he wrote called “Stop Calling Google Cardboard’s 360-Degree Videos ‘VR’”.
He said when talking about 360-degree videos, “That conveys you to a place that can already exist, but it doesn’t take you to an impossible place. We wanted to do something that fit that bill—interesting from a content perspective, but in VR because you can only make it in VR.”
He added, “The video game industry has cribbed a lot from film. We control the camera in the same way as films work, [and] a lot of that stuff doesn’t work when you no longer have direct control over the camera. You have to convince the user to do the thing you want them to do, not just make them do it. That’s the challenge for us.”
Walking into the virtual studio is easy and within just a couple of seconds you’re talking to each other as though you’re next to each other in real life. That shows the type of human interaction Smith is talking about.
Smith said, “The whole world is open to us. Everything is possible when it’s all just software.”